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Re: women vs men in class

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  • Bluenile2@aol.com
    Sonya and all, a normal class is usually drumming warm ups for the first 20-30 minutes. typically Babatunde s or a simply rhythm such as Koukou, that is
    Message 1 of 21 , Sep 30, 2000
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      Sonya and all, a "normal" class is usually drumming warm ups for the first
      20-30 minutes. typically Babatunde's or a simply rhythm such as Koukou, that
      is easy for everyone to remember and play for a while. sometimes, if there
      are new students, i take this time to work with them, while an experienced
      student facilitates the warm-ups. then, the next hour or so is working on
      the new rhythm. after that, for about an hour or an hour and a half, i work
      with the dancers while an experienced student works with the drummers. if
      there is any time left, we either review what we went over in class, or we go
      over other rhythms we know, or we just play drums.
      what we've been doing so far is about one new rhythm and one new dance every
      4-6 weeks.
      Blessings,
      Jenna
      [hs]
    • Hawkdancing
      Hi, I co-lead a university drumming group playing djembe. While it is a generality based on a majority of participants, I ve found women the more dedicated
      Message 2 of 21 , Oct 1, 2000
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        Hi,
        I co-lead a university drumming group playing djembe. While it is a
        generality based on a "majority" of participants, I've found women the more
        dedicated players. They participate more frequently, want to learn and
        practice more, and persist even through difficulty. The men are more
        interested in improvising, no matter what their skill level is. They either
        catch on quickly or leave shortly after starting. It may be this age group,
        but over the long term the women make up the core of the group and the men
        tend to start and drift away once they realize it involves some work,
        practice, or struggle.

        blessings,
        Nels
        ****************************************************************************
        ************
        Drums, Goddess Figures, Porcelain sculpture at: http://hawkdancing.com
        African djembes at: http://hawkdancing.com/djembe.shtml

        [hs]
      • Tom Storer
        ... Not surprising. I d guess it s the same with electric guitars - men dream of standing in the spotlight making the masses roar à la Carlos Santana. (Oh,
        Message 3 of 21 , Oct 2, 2000
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          --- In djembe-l@egroups.com, "Hawkdancing" <hawkdanc@s...> wrote:
          >
          > [...]The men are more
          > interested in improvising, no matter what their skill level is.

          Not surprising. I'd guess it's the same with electric guitars - men
          dream of standing in the spotlight making the masses roar à la
          Carlos Santana. (Oh, you mean I have to learn *harmony*? Forget it!)

          Anyway, as a man starting djembe lessons, I confess that I do think
          it would be fun to reach improvising level. In another post a drum
          teacher said time left over after exercises in a class could be used
          for "just drumming". My own teacher has an hour a week with us and
          there's no time left over, so I would love to be able to "just drum."

          What I've started doing is, in my daily practice, doing warm-up
          exercises with a metronome, trying hard to control the sounds and
          feel the beat accurately, and then at the end, well, just having fun.
          I improvise, playing as fast as I like, trying to stay aware of sound
          production and hand position. I leave the metronome on and try to
          swing with it.

          When I bought my djembe the other day, I was the only customer in the
          shop. I sat with the djembe and started playing a catchy little two-
          measure rhythm we do in class. The djembe-maker - well, he doesn't
          carve them, but he assembles them - came over and started playing
          along. I kept up my rhythm and he improvised. This lasted all of two
          minutes but what a blast! I wouldn't have dared trying to get fancy
          on him since I would have been beyond my depth.

          My question, I guess, is about how people typically progress from the
          most basic basics to soloist level. Do people use informal sessions
          among friends to dive in head first and take turns improvising, or do
          they first acquire years of basics before even attempting it? Half a
          lifetime ago when I attempted to learn the clarinet I asked a similar
          question of the great jazz clarinetist John Carter. He said, "Play
          your scales and exercises every day, but start improvising right away
          too. Always do both." How does the drum community feel about it?

          - Tom Storer


          [jl]
        • Kenne Thomas
          Some discussion is going on about improvising. Why is there any question, is my response. A natural progression in the course of human nature is to display
          Message 4 of 21 , Oct 2, 2000
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            Some discussion is going on about improvising. Why is there any question, is my response.
            A natural progression in the course of human nature is to display what we know, or think we know.
            Improvising, or soloing is in the spirit of the Olympics, college recital, and streetcorner soapbox.
            We gender this is our children. As parents we want to see them "show off". It speaks of what we have
            taught. To musicians it is a reflection of what we have absorbed within our musical community. Sometimes
            it is demonstrative and gallant. But sometimes it begets the quote, "Don't speak and have people think
            you are ignorant or shout and remove all doubt." I always have a student, especially a new student, play
            before I even open a book or lead an exercise. This is to see if the music we are about to embark on is
            intrinsic or laborious. Yes, I would have to agree with the philosophy, "Play right away." It should be
            an enjoyable experience and from your heart. That is where the soul (solo) is.

            Kenne Thomas
            [hs]
          • Merlin
            Hi Tom, ... I ve always combined improvisation ( fiddling ) with serious practice on all instruments I learned. It serves to get to know the instrument as
            Message 5 of 21 , Oct 2, 2000
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              Hi Tom,

              At 14:46 2-10-2000, you wrote:
              >My question, I guess, is about how people typically progress from the
              >most basic basics to soloist level. Do people use informal sessions
              >among friends to dive in head first and take turns improvising, or do
              >they first acquire years of basics before even attempting it? Half a
              >lifetime ago when I attempted to learn the clarinet I asked a similar
              >question of the great jazz clarinetist John Carter. He said, "Play
              >your scales and exercises every day, but start improvising right away
              >too. Always do both." How does the drum community feel about it?

              I've always combined improvisation ("fiddling") with serious practice on
              all instruments I learned. It serves to get to know the instrument as
              intimately as possible, and it keeps your interest going. Just scales and
              exercises can get pretty boring (same for the two or three rhythms you know
              when you start out on Djembe), you have to be pretty inventive to find
              "interesting" things in those rhythms at first. Later you realise that you
              can work on timing, sound etc. and that is easier with rhythms you can play
              in your sleep.

              I've also found that some stuff I've heard on CD sound pretty advanced, but
              then if you fiddle long enough, you may find bits by accident and sometimes
              they aren't actually all that difficult...

              Happy Drumming!
              Dennis

              [hs]
            • drummers
              Fr Greywoulf Re improvising: At my classes for beginners-intermediates, besides teaching basic hand control I teach a few simple rhythms and also some concepts
              Message 6 of 21 , Oct 2, 2000
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                Fr Greywoulf

                Re improvising:
                At my classes for beginners-intermediates, besides teaching basic hand
                control I teach a few simple rhythms and also some concepts of soloing. One
                of the main things to remember is that when you are starting to learn how to
                solo, less is more! Do not play a whole boxload of notes, drowning out (and
                seriously mentally disturbing) all the steady beat keepers... Just put a
                "one" stroke in where ever it sounds right to you, and after that try a
                "two", then maybe a "three". Then try mixing these together, sparingly, at
                intervals... You might want to take turns at this in a group, with some
                people carrying the rhythm while others, one at a time, attempt small solos.
                Remember, it's best not to try and get too fancy at the beginning. Doesn't
                work...
                IMO teaching small groups is far more interesting (for both the teacher and
                the students) when the teacher also throws in at the end, when everyone is
                warmed up, some hints and demos about soloing. Far too many teachers neglect
                this. (Unless you take private lessons with them, at twice the rate...) I
                don't know what they're afraid of here.
                It also helps to listen to a tape of a good drummer soloing, and try to copy
                some of the phrases. It's not as tough as you might think...
                Greywoulf

                [jp]



                > Anyway, as a man starting djembe lessons, I confess that I do think
                > it would be fun to reach improvising level. In another post a drum
                > teacher said time left over after exercises in a class could be used
                > for "just drumming". My own teacher has an hour a week with us and
                > there's no time left over, so I would love to be able to "just drum."
                >
                > What I've started doing is, in my daily practice, doing warm-up
                > exercises with a metronome, trying hard to control the sounds and
                > feel the beat accurately, and then at the end, well, just having fun.
                > I improvise, playing as fast as I like, trying to stay aware of sound
                > production and hand position. I leave the metronome on and try to
                > swing with it.
                >
                > When I bought my djembe the other day, I was the only customer in the
                > shop. I sat with the djembe and started playing a catchy little two-
                > measure rhythm we do in class. The djembe-maker - well, he doesn't
                > carve them, but he assembles them - came over and started playing
                > along. I kept up my rhythm and he improvised. This lasted all of two
                > minutes but what a blast! I wouldn't have dared trying to get fancy
                > on him since I would have been beyond my depth.
                >
                > My question, I guess, is about how people typically progress from the
                > most basic basics to soloist level. Do people use informal sessions
                > among friends to dive in head first and take turns improvising, or do
                > they first acquire years of basics before even attempting it? Half a
                > lifetime ago when I attempted to learn the clarinet I asked a similar
                > question of the great jazz clarinetist John Carter. He said, "Play
                > your scales and exercises every day, but start improvising right away
                > too. Always do both." How does the drum community feel about it?
                >
                > - Tom Storer
              • Tom Storer
                ... Interesting - should I conclude that one way to approach it is to build up a vocabulary of short rhythmic phrases and gradually practice stringing them
                Message 7 of 21 , Oct 3, 2000
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                  --- In djembe-l@egroups.com, "drummers" <drummers@m...> wrote:
                  >
                  > [...] One of the main things to remember is that when you are
                  > starting to learn how to solo, less is more! Do not play a whole
                  > boxload of notes, drowning out (and seriously mentally disturbing)
                  > all the steady beat keepers... Just put a "one" stroke in where
                  > ever it sounds right to you, and after that try a "two", then maybe
                  > a "three". Then try mixing these together, sparingly, at
                  > intervals...
                  >
                  Interesting - should I conclude that one way to approach it is to
                  build up a vocabulary of short rhythmic phrases and gradually
                  practice stringing them together in varied ways? This is reminiscent
                  of how guitarists or horn players can build effective solos using
                  sequences of much-used licks. Now that I think of it, the best solos
                  along those lines rely heavily on the rhythmic variety of those
                  licks, e.g. where in the bar they start and stop, etc. It all comes
                  together.

                  First, however, I'd better work on making a slap sound like slap. ;-)

                  - Tom Storer

                  [jl]
                • Kate Thompson
                  Wounderful thought, i love it. Personaly it all began for me with friends. I was thrown right in the deep end of a hugly dynamic drumming community iin Boston.
                  Message 8 of 21 , Oct 3, 2000
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                    Wounderful thought, i love it.
                    Personaly it all began for me with friends.
                    I was thrown right in the deep end of a hugly dynamic drumming community iin
                    Boston. I am now in london and after onlt two months i believe i have the
                    knowledge to bring the drum into others lives.

                    The thing is for me it came in waves, when i was playing with 5 or 6 friends
                    in the beginning i was quiet; after the two months i could solo with
                    friends, maybe i am just a fast learner and i had such supportive teachers
                    but i jumped in when i was comfortable. I cant say i was any good, but it
                    felt good, my friend knew that and they let me go. So i practice day by day
                    and i get better. I couldnt solo with masters, i wouldnt dare, but just the
                    confidence to give it a go takes you that little step higher into yourself
                    and into whatever playing does for you.

                    Love and light to you
                    Kate

                    >From: "Tom Storer" <tstorer@...>
                    >Reply-To: djembe-l@egroups.com
                    >To: djembe-l@egroups.com
                    >Subject: [djembe-l] Improvising
                    >Date: Mon, 02 Oct 2000 07:41:58 -0000
                    >
                    >--- In djembe-l@egroups.com, "Hawkdancing" <hawkdanc@s...> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > [...]The men are more
                    > > interested in improvising, no matter what their skill level is.
                    >
                    >Not surprising. I'd guess it's the same with electric guitars - men
                    >dream of standing in the spotlight making the masses roar � la
                    >Carlos Santana. (Oh, you mean I have to learn *harmony*? Forget it!)
                    >
                    >Anyway, as a man starting djembe lessons, I confess that I do think
                    >it would be fun to reach improvising level. In another post a drum
                    >teacher said time left over after exercises in a class could be used
                    >for "just drumming". My own teacher has an hour a week with us and
                    >there's no time left over, so I would love to be able to "just drum."


                    [jl]
                  • John Walter
                    I like this thread ... most basic basics to soloist level. Do people use informal sessions among friends to dive in head first and take turns improvising, or
                    Message 9 of 21 , Oct 3, 2000
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                      I like this thread

                      >>>>>My question, I guess, is about how people typically progress from the
                      most basic basics to soloist level. Do people use informal sessions
                      among friends to dive in head first and take turns improvising, or do
                      they first acquire years of basics before even attempting it? Half a
                      lifetime ago when I attempted to learn the clarinet I asked a similar
                      question of the great jazz clarinetist John Carter. He said, "Play
                      your scales and exercises every day, but start improvising right away
                      too. Always do both." How does the drum community feel about it?<<<<<<<<


                      I get people improvising straight away a la drumcircle. Not necessarily
                      "soloing" but making up a rhythm to go over a support rhythm and repeating
                      it and pushing it around.

                      It is amazing to me that I can do a corporate workshop with complete
                      beginners and get some stonking rhythms going very quickly whereas if I run
                      a drumcircle within the African drumming community it takes a lot of effort
                      to get anything going at all. To put this in context the drumcircle spirit
                      movement as only just creeping into the UK where I am based. So there is a
                      lot of educating to do.

                      Problems that arise are firstly that those who have attended drum classes
                      all sit there waiting to be given a rhythm and then draw a blank when I
                      invite them to make one up. Another problem is that they can know how to
                      play a whole bag of rhythms but have no idea how to fit them around a basic
                      four pulse. It is also a conceptual thing, drum teachers give a set of 3 or
                      four licks and put them together as a peice. The student then can only play
                      one of these rhythms when the other is present. It takes a lot of persuasion
                      to shift them to the idea that you can play anything you like, when you like
                      as long as it fits the groove.

                      I have taught improvising as a jazz musician to instrumentalists of all
                      types. The hardest part of the process is the amount of unlearning that has
                      to go on when someone has been taught from a classical music standpoint and
                      has become dependant on dots on a page. The same is true of djembe players
                      who have only learnt sets of culturally specific rhythms.

                      My starting point is to teach basic rhythmic phrases and mix and match them
                      continuously. Classes are always 50% drumcircle where anything goes and 50%
                      learning rhythms and techniques.

                      As a soloist your first step when soloing over a groove is to be totally
                      familiar with all the support rhythms that are being played so that if you
                      whizz into an exciting space you have something to latch onto when you come
                      back to earth. You can then pop parts of a support rhythm into your solo and
                      fire up that part of the group. You also have to have the agreement of the
                      other players so that if you start easing up the tempo or changing the
                      dynamics they follow you. I usually latch on to one simple phrase with a
                      slap or too in it that i can use to change the tempo, I latch onto it play
                      it loud and then crank it up. Your communication with the group is crucial,
                      if you p*** them off they aint gonna follow you no matter how good you play.

                      John

                      Drumcrazy
                      Take a look at our website

                      http://www.drumcrazy.co.uk
                      mailto:enquiries@...

                      Or join the list for anyone crazy about drumming in groups.
                      mailto:drumcrazyUK-subscribe@...
                      http://www.egroups.co.uk/group/drumcrazyUK
                      [hs]
                    • Michael Le Bien
                      ... One thing that helped me start a solo lick when i wanted it, was to play hand over hand ghost notes and simply play the notes with more volume when i
                      Message 10 of 21 , Oct 3, 2000
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                        >One
                        >of the main things to remember is that when you are starting to learn how to
                        >solo, less is more! Do not play a whole boxload of notes, drowning out (and
                        >seriously mentally disturbing) all the steady beat keepers... Just put a
                        >"one" stroke in where ever it sounds right to you, and after that try a
                        >"two", then maybe a "three".


                        One thing that helped me start a solo lick when i wanted it, was to
                        play hand over hand ghost notes and simply
                        play the notes with more volume when i wanted to accent a dance
                        movement. Otherwise, buy the time
                        you think of what to play, you are too late to put it where you want
                        it. Now I can just think and play at the
                        same time a much larger number of combinations of solo phrases.

                        I also tapped my foot, which had ankle bells, so i never lost track
                        of the downbeat.
                        I also think metronome practice is essential. But eventually you will
                        want to learn
                        certain things like incorporating flams and rolls into phrases. And
                        here comes the
                        shameless plug for my 4/4 and 6/8 feel soloing exercises cd's at:
                        www.gingerroot.com/djembe
                      • Doug Kane
                        ... I d like to add my observations on this subject. One of the most difficult lessons for westerners to learn is how to improvise within the context of the
                        Message 11 of 21 , Oct 3, 2000
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                          >>
                          >> [...] One of the main things to remember is that when you are
                          >> starting to learn how to solo, less is more! Do not play a whole
                          >> boxload of notes, drowning out (and seriously mentally disturbing)
                          >> all the steady beat keepers... Just put a "one" stroke in where
                          >> ever it sounds right to you, and after that try a "two", then maybe
                          >> a "three". Then try mixing these together, sparingly, at
                          >> intervals...
                          >>
                          >Interesting - should I conclude that one way to approach it is to
                          >build up a vocabulary of short rhythmic phrases and gradually
                          >practice stringing them together in varied ways? This is reminiscent
                          >of how guitarists or horn players can build effective solos using
                          >sequences of much-used licks. Now that I think of it, the best solos
                          >along those lines rely heavily on the rhythmic variety of those
                          >licks, e.g. where in the bar they start and stop, etc. It all comes
                          >together.
                          >
                          >First, however, I'd better work on making a slap sound like slap. ;-)

                          I'd like to add my observations on this subject. One of the most difficult
                          lessons for westerners to learn is how to improvise within the context of
                          the rhythms. By this I mean two things. Many rhythms have traditional solo
                          phrases that are designed to mark certain dance steps. It is up to the
                          soloist to integrate these phrases into her improvisation. But even outside
                          of playing traditional solo phrases,
                          the soloist must speak with the other instruments, particularly the dundun.
                          Developing certain stock phrases is inevitable for any budding soloist, but
                          care must be taken to play those phrases within the context of the rhythm
                          being played.

                          Much of the beauty in traditional mandingue (particularly malinke) music
                          comes from the melody line created by the dundun parts. The good soloist
                          will take care to emphasize rather than overwhelm that melody line, engaging
                          in conversations with the sangban and, even more the dundunba, particularly
                          where the dundunfola is playing eschauffments or other variations. It is
                          quite a challenge to learn to improvise together, but when it comes together
                          is is truly a thing of beauty.

                          Peace,
                          Chief Jolly
                        • Barraskar@gmx.de
                          Tom, ... A fellow-beginner. :) I am working on that, too. I noticed, that if the pitch on my drum goes down, it becomes increasingly difficult to produce a
                          Message 12 of 21 , Oct 3, 2000
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                            Tom,

                            > First, however, I'd better work on making a slap sound like slap. ;-)<

                            A fellow-beginner. :) I am working on that, too. I noticed, that if the
                            pitch on my drum goes down, it becomes increasingly difficult to produce a
                            clear slap. The tone and the bass seems to sound "dead" too then, but not as
                            obviously as the slaps do.

                            I wonder, how that can be anyway. Is it normal, that a drum has to be
                            retightened every couple of days? I would think, that the rings would hang
                            pretty close to the pipe after a couple of months.

                            When I bought the drum, it sounded fine, two weeks later I retightened it
                            quite a lot, and yesterday I had to do it again, pulled out another 5 inches
                            of rope, or so. And it's not temperature and moisture in the air, I think.
                            I also don't have the feeling, that the drum is new, that includes the skin.
                            The whole drum makes a well-used impression on me.

                            I also do not think, it's the ropes, because the ropes seem pretty old
                            too, so I can't imagine, that there is still a lot of stretching going on in
                            them.

                            How long does a skin last anyway, provided it doesn't break? If the rings
                            are rather down on the shell, is it advisable to take off everything,
                            replace the ropes, make the old skin wet again and redo it completely? Or can this
                            only be done with a brand new skin?

                            What do the more experienced drummers say?

                            Barraskar

                            --
                          • Tom Storer
                            ... I hope not! The guy I bought my djembe from tightened it and told me I shouldn t have to tighten it again for six months. I confess that the idea of
                            Message 13 of 21 , Oct 4, 2000
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                              --- In djembe-l@egroups.com, Barraskar@g... wrote:
                              >
                              > [...] Is it normal, that a drum has to be
                              > retightened every couple of days?

                              I hope not! The guy I bought my djembe from tightened it and told me
                              I shouldn't have to tighten it again for six months.

                              I confess that the idea of tightening the drum scares me. I've been
                              shown how to do it but I'm not sure I'll know when enough is enough.
                              In addition, while tightening another djembe for me to try out, the
                              djembe merchant popped a skin! I thought, hell, if that happens to
                              him, what chance do *I* have?

                              At least I live in a town with a djembe shop - when I burst a skin I
                              can have a new one put on (which I would prefer to slaughtering a
                              goat myself, scraping the gore off the skin, soaking it in antiseptic
                              solution, cutting it to the right shape with special knives, and God
                              knows what else ;-) ).

                              - Tom Storer

                              [jp]
                            • Richard MacNeil
                              I would pay attention to the drum head. Has the skin been slipping between the rings. Have you noticed the rings and skin moving further down the drum after
                              Message 14 of 21 , Oct 4, 2000
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                                I would pay attention to the drum head. Has the skin been slipping between
                                the rings. Have you noticed the rings and skin moving further down the drum
                                after tightening. If you dont see any movement in the skin I would say it
                                was the rope. When I first started building drums I found myself with the
                                same problem. Every few days I had to add more diamonds and then every few
                                weeks undo all the rope and start again. The rope I had on the drums was no
                                good. If I left it on there it seemed like it would stretch forever. Then I
                                started buying my rope from New England Ropes
                                http://www.neropes.com/default.asp (Sta-Set X Plus. I believe its that
                                kind,I get mine from a distributor. I think it has .028% stretch ratio or
                                something like that)
                                It works great, right from the start. I hope this helps!
                                Oh yeah I only replace the rope on the verticals and left the rope on the
                                rings and its fine.

                                -----Original Message-----
                                > First, however, I'd better work on making a slap sound like slap. ;-)<

                                A fellow-beginner. :) I am working on that, too. I noticed, that if the
                                pitch on my drum goes down, it becomes increasingly difficult to produce a
                                clear slap. The tone and the bass seems to sound "dead" too then, but not as
                                obviously as the slaps do.

                                I wonder, how that can be anyway. Is it normal, that a drum has to be
                                retightened every couple of days? I would think, that the rings would hang
                                pretty close to the pipe after a couple of months.

                                When I bought the drum, it sounded fine, two weeks later I retightened it
                                quite a lot, and yesterday I had to do it again, pulled out another 5 inches
                                of rope, or so. And it's not temperature and moisture in the air, I think.
                                I also don't have the feeling, that the drum is new, that includes the skin.
                                The whole drum makes a well-used impression on me.

                                I also do not think, it's the ropes, because the ropes seem pretty old
                                too, so I can't imagine, that there is still a lot of stretching going on in
                                them.

                                How long does a skin last anyway, provided it doesn't break? If the rings
                                are rather down on the shell, is it advisable to take off everything,
                                replace the ropes, make the old skin wet again and redo it completely? Or
                                can this
                                only be done with a brand new skin?

                                What do the more experienced drummers say?

                                Barraskar

                                [jp]
                              • Lindsay Rowlands
                                ... Sounds like the rope isn t of very high quality and keeps stretching. Similarly, if the skin is of dubious quality it will stretch until it breaks. On a
                                Message 15 of 21 , Oct 4, 2000
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                                  Barraskar@... wrote:
                                  > I wonder, how that can be anyway. Is it normal, that a drum has to be
                                  > retightened every couple of days? I would think, that the rings would hang
                                  > pretty close to the pipe after a couple of months.

                                  Sounds like the rope isn't of very high quality and keeps stretching.
                                  Similarly, if the skin is of dubious quality it will stretch until it
                                  breaks. On a positive note, you may find after an initial period of
                                  tightening that everything will settle down. My own drum hasn't had a
                                  serious re-tighten in about 12 months and I play it very regularly.
                                  >
                                  > I also do not think, it's the ropes, because the ropes seem pretty old
                                  > too, so I can't imagine, that there is still a lot of stretching going on in
                                  > them.

                                  If the rope isn't too good it will continue to stretch until it breaks too.
                                  >
                                  > How long does a skin last anyway, provided it doesn't break? If the rings
                                  > are rather down on the shell, is it advisable to take off everything,
                                  > replace the ropes, make the old skin wet again and redo it completely? Or can this
                                  > only be done with a brand new skin?

                                  A number of parameters determine the life of the skin. I'll hazard a
                                  guess and say no two skins are alike. Things like the diet and lifestyle
                                  of the animal, its age, etc; the 'curing' process; and the amount the
                                  drum the skin ends up on gets played, are all critical factors which
                                  determine the ultimate life of the skin on drum.

                                  If you were to take the skin off, you can use it again after soaking it
                                  - not for more than an hour or so - but if you are going to that amount
                                  of trouble it may be worth sourcing a known good skin, replacing the
                                  rope (with climber's lo-stretch accessory cord) and reconstructing the drum.

                                  Cheerz,
                                  Lynzz

                                  [jp]
                                • Barraskar
                                  Richard, ... Yes, thanks. I will have to look for good rope hereabouts, perhaps. The rope on my drumm looks, as if it has been pulled through often, sort of
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Oct 5, 2000
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                                    Richard,

                                    > It works great, right from the start. I hope this helps!<

                                    Yes, thanks. I will have to look for good rope hereabouts, perhaps.
                                    The rope on my drumm looks, as if it has been pulled through often,
                                    sort of frizzled in many places (if that is a word).

                                    Barraskar
                                  • Barraskar
                                    Lynzz, ... I play it very regularly.
                                    Message 17 of 21 , Oct 5, 2000
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                                      Lynzz,

                                      > My own drum hasn't had a serious re-tighten in about 12 months and
                                      I play it very regularly.<

                                      Thanks. :) This must mean, a skin has at least a life span of more
                                      than one year (generally, normally).

                                      Barraskar
                                    • Peter E. Carels
                                      ... I know this question has been kicked around a lot over the last week or so, but this is the first time I ve had time to sit and try to compose my answer.
                                      Message 18 of 21 , Oct 6, 2000
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                                        >My question, I guess, is about how people typically progress from the
                                        >most basic basics to soloist level. Do people use informal sessions
                                        >among friends to dive in head first and take turns improvising, or do
                                        >they first acquire years of basics before even attempting it? Half a
                                        >lifetime ago when I attempted to learn the clarinet I asked a similar
                                        >question of the great jazz clarinetist John Carter. He said, "Play
                                        >your scales and exercises every day, but start improvising right away
                                        >too. Always do both." How does the drum community feel about it?
                                        >
                                        >- Tom Storer


                                        I know this question has been kicked around a lot over the last week or so, but
                                        this is the first time I've had time to sit and try to compose my answer.

                                        The time it took me to try my first "solo" phrases in class was really long. I
                                        wondered for months what it would take to be able to do that. I wanted to be
                                        able to, but we didn't have much opportunity in class, and in the beginning I
                                        would sheepishly decline, because I really didn't know what I should do.

                                        Now I feel as if I had built up a big block against this from the
                                        beginning. It
                                        took a long, slow curve from those days to where I began to have the
                                        confidence
                                        to do any soloing, to where I am now, fairly confident to solo in many
                                        situations.

                                        In recent years I have taught beginning hand drumming to quite a few students,
                                        adults and children. I decided early on that I wanted to take the fear and
                                        dread
                                        out of it right from the beginning. To devise ways to get people to find
                                        it fun
                                        and see that it's "not that hard", as a natural thing to want to do and a
                                        thing one
                                        can do from early on. I didn't want people to build up a block, in other
                                        words.

                                        When really good drummers show us what soloing is, we are intimidated and
                                        think we'll never learn to do that. So I held back on anything like that until
                                        the students were into it and already comfortable with some rudimentary
                                        soloing. Here's how it developed.

                                        A while back I heard a Famoudou Konate recording. His soloing style was
                                        elegant,
                                        yet in some ways simple. It was clear. It was not overly crowded with
                                        64th notes
                                        or whatever pyrotechnics. I decided to learn some of his patterns.

                                        At the same time, it occured to me that students just learning could learn easy
                                        patterns like this. At first, however, I decided to go to an even more
                                        basic level.
                                        I told them I wanted them to play something easy and something they
                                        were quite familiar with. So I suggested taking the cadence of a familiar
                                        nursery rhyme or a simple tune they know, and play it out on the drum.
                                        Any word that gets especially emphasized: play a slap. The rest: tones.
                                        If the voice drops markedly anywhere: a bass. They played things like
                                        Mary had a little lamb or Little jack horner while the rest of us played
                                        a simple 4-beat or a basic rhythm in 4. If that was too much, I had them
                                        concentrate on just the first line and repeat it three or four times (just
                                        as Famoudou does with his solo phrases, often).

                                        This way, they found that they were "soloing" without the sweat and fear.
                                        In fact
                                        I didn't even tell them they were "soloing". We just did it as a fun exercise.
                                        Later on, when the idea of soloing came up, they were all reminded that they
                                        had been doing it whenever we had done such an exercise. And they said, oh
                                        is that
                                        all there is to it? And in a way, that IS all there is to it. Because for
                                        many
                                        of us it was that first step that was the hardest and took so long to take,
                                        accompanied by so much doubt and trepidation. After that first step is taken,
                                        the next ones become easier.

                                        My two centavos.

                                        Pete
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